The rumors continued Monday as the non-waiver trade deadlines inched a little closer. And teams are reportedly interested in several players on the Cubs roster.
According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Royals search for an outfielder could now include Nate Schierholtz. Kansas City is also believed to have interest in Justin Ruggiano.
About 15 teams are looking for relievers according to Jerry Crasnick, and the Tigers have checked on just about every bullpen arm that is believed to be available. The Tigers have shown interest in Hector Rondon according to Bruce Levine and the Cubs have reportedly received interest in relievers James Russell, Wesley Wright and Carlos Villanueva.
The Mariners continue to keep tabs on Junior Lake according to a report from Mark Gonzales, several teams are interested in Luis Valbuena according to the Sun-Times, and Darwin Barney remains on teams’ radars looking for a second baseman. Emilio Bonifacio is working his way back from injury but did not play Monday.
Ken Rosenthal added to the David Price rumors Monday with his column as to why trading for Price would be the right move for the Cubs.
Jed Hoyer addressed the Rosenthal report on The Kap & Haugh Show (87.7 The Game) Monday.
“There are going to be a lot of rumors about our players and acquiring players because of the talent we have in the minors,” Hoyer said on The Kap & Haugh Show. “There are so many teams looking for offense that I think we will be lumped into a lot of different rumors. We just sort of ignore them.”
Jed Hoyer joined David Kaplan and David Haugh on 87.7 The Game Monday morning. Hoyer is happy with the way the minor leaguers are playing but reiterated that he is looking forward to the day when the focus is on the Major League team and not on the prospects in the minors. Hoyer addressed several subjects, and here are a few of the highlights.
On a possible promotion for Jorge Soler from Double-A to Triple-A
“The way he is playing is real exciting,” Hoyer said. “Probably the most exciting thing for us is the way he controls the strike zone. He’s not a big strikeout guy for a power hitter. He controls the zone well. He doesn’t swing and miss a lot. He’s only played, I think, 20 games in Double-A this year because of the injuries. We obviously want to build up a little more time under his belt there, but certainly this kind of performance brings promotions into the discussion once he gets some more time there. And he had a really good relationship with Manny when they spent time together in Arizona. That’s something at some point if he keeps playing like this obviously we will be discussing rekindling that relationship again in Iowa.”
On Scott Boras’ comments last week about Kris Bryant
“Obviously we have a very good relationship with Scott. We’ve done a lot of deals with him and actually Addison Russell and [Billy] McKinney have Boras, so I think Scott and those guys are going to be spending a lot of time in Chicago in the near future,” Hoyer explained. “I think relationships with agents are very important. We do a lot of deals with the same guys over and over and I think the more they trust you the more they get to know you the better. We are always going to do what is right for the Cubs and they are going to do what is right for the player. But that doesn’t mean you cannot find common ground and often times with a guy like Scott, he’s really good about working with his players. He wants his guys to be good. So if you have a thought about instruction he is one of the better agents about calling him and he will make sure he puts the player in line. I think those relationships are important. Obviously we have a good relationship with Kris. We have a lot of dialogue with him and I think he’s had a perfect attitude this year. He knows the things he needs to work on. I think he is getting better every day in Iowa.”
On Ken Rosenthal’s report about trading for David Price would be the right move for the Cubs and all of the trade rumors
“I don’t really pay attention,” Hoyer said. “There are going to be a lot of rumors about our players and acquiring players because of the talent we have in the minors and there are so many teams looking for offense that I think we will be lumped into a lot of different rumors. We just sort of ignore them. Sort of like the agents, we have great relationships with a lot of very good writers and often times they are right on the money and sometimes they write stuff that we know isn’t a part of our plans and isn’t a part of our future. In general you take it with a grain of salt, but I do think we are going to have a lot of our players in trade rumors and we are going to be rumored on a lot of players simply because I think people feel that we are getting to that time of our building process and because of the amount of talent that we have.”
On Javier Baez playing second base, is it a precursor to a call-up to the majors and other position changes in the minors
“I will say if you look at his month by month, he’s doing exactly what you are supposed to do while in the minor leagues,” Hoyer said. “He’s very young at Triple-A and he’s getting better every single month. I think he’s gone from a .550 OPS in April and it’s gone up every month. I think so far this month he’s 950-plus. So he’s really getting better every month. He’s having really good at bats. And as far as moving him to second base, obviously we did that for a reason and I would say this we are going to do this with a lot of our prospects. You see [Arismendy] Alcantara playing centerfield. He’s going to play second base. I think we are going to start moving a lot of guys around. [Kyle] Schwarber catches, now he’s playing a lot more left field. We want to make sure that our guys have a ton of flexibility. So those are the two guys we are kind of moving around now. But you can see other guys move around for sure.”
David Haugh asked, “Could Bryant play outfield?”
“He certainly can. He played a lot of centerfield in college and we know he can do it. At some point having that skillset is really valuable. I think with him, he’s a guy that we really want to work on his defense at third base. So that has really been his biggest priority in the minor leagues, is improving his defense. He has flexibility. Obviously any of the guys that can play shortstop we can move to third and second. I do think it is something people are going to see us doing over the next 12-18 months is moving guys around the field.”